Liv Magazine November 2021

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Male wellness kicks into high gear

WIN: an all-access pass to PURE and an artisanal tea gift set on page 18!








NOVEMBER 2021 | l i v - m a g a z i n e . co m LIV MAGAZINE

NOVEMBER 07 Editor’s Letter



06 Wishlist

22 The Rise of Men's Wellness

Lovely things we want right now

08 Hot Right Now

New happenings on the wellness scene

12 Fresh Cuts

Your guide to sustainable seafood in Hong Kong

16 Community

Organisations that provide opportunities for the elderly

18 Review

Anibacterial honey from Western Australia

We report on how men's health in Hong Kong is moving beyond the benchpress and tackling mental and spiritual wellbeing

28 Classic Covers

Meaningful, mindful gifting with Lok Man Rare Books



32 Beauty

How CBD skincare works

34 Home Outdoor furniture for cool weather

38 Family

Top three stroller-friendly hikes

28 34



Sponsored Feature

Breathing New Life into MATERNITY SERVICES Having won Best Maternity Service Provider at the 2021 Wellness & Lifestyle Awards, we wanted to know how Matilda International Hospital has managed to stay at the forefront of maternity services in Hong Kong for more than a century. We speak to Jenny Cheung, Maternity Manager at Matilda International Hospital, to learn more.

Matilda International Hospital is one of the most popular private maternity care providers in Hong Kong, and has been delivering babies for over a century. How have you stayed at the forefront of maternity services for so many years? Matilda has been providing maternity care for over 115 years and is well-known for its personalised services. For delivering mothers, it is important to create a comfortable, safe environment - a human touch is of particular importance. Many mothers find Matilda cosy and homelike, where thanks to our rooming-in policy they can stay close to their babies and families. We also provide excellent support in skin-to-skin bonding, as well as breastfeeding guidance. How else are you enhancing your service? We regularly upgrade our facilities, provide continuous staff training and add special touches like providing amenities in our rooms. We also offer Japanese translation, and have also introduced antenatal and maternity care at set prices for additional peace of mind. What is your ethos when it comes to providing maternity care? We believe that every birth experience is unique and special. Our aim is to support women as individuals, and make them feel empowered to have a unique and positive birth experience. We encourage women to share their birth plans with us so they stand the best chance of getting the experience they want.

Tell us a bit more about the maternity and antenatal services you provide. We emphasize continuity of care, starting with pregnancy. Our obstetricians take care of our patients’ health with antenatal health checks services either in our Central clinic or at the hospital. The antenatal check schedule is clear, evidence-based, and highly transparent in its pricing. Women can also opt to join our antenatal classes, and we even offer first aid and childcare classes for helpers. For the delivery itself, we support the family in many ways, such as encouraging partners to accompany women during labour and cut the baby’s cord; offering a choice of alternative methods of pain relief; walking epidurals; a ratio of one midwife to one mother in active labour and during delivery; and a breastfeedingfriendly atmosphere with help from certified lactation consultants. Even upon discharge, our midwives will call to follow up and check to see if they need any additional support from us. We also have a team of community midwives, who are of vital importance to a new mum as a source of support, reassurance and encouragement. The community midwife can guide them as they adjust to becoming a new mum, assess and offer advice on their wellbeing and the babies’ health, support breastfeeding, talk about home safety and provide, when needed, an important link to their paediatrician, obstetrician and other healthcare professionals.




or the last few months, I’ve been working remotely from my hometown in western Canada, as part of an extended stay to spend time with family. It’s been a great opportunity to reconnect, reminisce, and just remember what it’s like to exist in a place other than Hong Kong, especially as the pandemic restrictions start to close in on their second year. I can’t even express how grateful I’ve been for this time; I know not everyone is so lucky and I don’t take it for granted. Staying at home for so long, however, it’s been interesting to notice how different my own self-care patterns differ from my parents. My dad has his beliefs about health and wellness, and it’s been eye-opening to observe how different people from different cohorts approach integrating it into their lives. That’s something we explore a bit with this month’s cover story on the rise of male wellness. I was pretty shocked to learn that the global wellness industry is estimated to be worth a staggering US$4 trillion (yes, with a T!) but the vast majority of that has historically been targeted at women. That is starting to change however, as more vehicles for male wellness - think beard care, virility patches, and men’s-only yoga retreats - are cropping up. We learn more about what male wellness looks like, and where you can find it in Hong Kong, on p.22. As the holiday season is fast approaching, we also explored a more novel (pun not intended) gift idea: rare books! We learned all about the antiquarian book trade, and some Christmas gift inspo, from Hong Kong’s very own Lok Man Rare Books over on p.28. We also spoke with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to find out everything you need to know about sustainable seafood in Hong Kong (p.12), discover why CBD is a beauty buff’s best friend (p.32), and round up outdoor furniture brands that are impossibly chic, just in time for peak barbecue season (p.34). Sending my warmest, toque-wearing regards from Canada, and hope to be back with you soon!


Ziggy Makant takes us out on her top three stroller-friendly hikes, plus an animal-inspired family workout, on p.38.

Kate Springer checks out different outdoor furniture brands to spruce up a rooftop or terrace on p.34.

Tanya Parmanand rounds up companies and social enterprises that hire Hong Kong’s senior citizens on p.14.


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Send invites and info to: Makerhive, 10/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town PUBLISHER SARAH FUNG HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS ANSHU RIJHWANI PARTNERSHIPS MANAGERS CHARU MATHUR, EVA YOE EDITOR CARLA THOMAS SOCIAL MEDIA JO ROBINSON SPECIAL PROJECTS STACEY MARCELO ADMINISTRATOR JASMIN BLUNCK GRAPHIC DESIGN TAMMY TAN CONTRIBUTORS KATE SPRINGER, ZIGGY MAKANT, TANYA PARMANAND PRINTED BY GEAR PRINTING LIMITED, ROOM B, 3/F, DERRICK INDUSTRIAL BUILDING, 49-51 WONG CHUK HANG ROAD, ABERDEEN ‘‘Liv Magazine’’ Copyright 2021 Liv Media Limited. The content provided here is the property of Liv Media Limited and may not be reproduced in any part without the written permission of the Publisher. The information provided by Liv Media Limited’s contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the company. The information provided by Liv Media Limited, or its staff, advertisers and contributors is given in good faith; readers should gather more information before making the decision to purchase any goods or services highlighted here. Liv Media Limited will not be held responsible for any action, omission or error resulting from actions taken on the basis of the information provided here. Please seek the approval of a doctor before following any health advice.


Retail Therapy


Here's what we're crushing on this month


Get a dramatic look going on with this winterinspired metallic eyeshadow palette. Superblendable and long-lasting, it’s perfect for pulling off a show-stopping smoky eye. $620 from BYREDO


We love a good old-fashioned cuppa, but these carbonated tea tonics from wellness drink brand Lify are next level! Try one of four superfood-infused flavours, which target everything from skin health to muscle recovery. $28 at the Lify Wellness Club pop-up, 98 Wellington St., Central (until Jan 19, 2022) 6


This ultra-luxe face cream by German skincare brand Augustinus Bader contains everything you need to stay supple this winter, from evening primrose oil to a proprietary blend of high-grade vitamins and natural amino acids. $1,350 for 30ml from Lane Crawford


Purveyor of probably the best cakes in Hong Kong, Butter Cake Shop finally opened their first permanent store in SoHo! We’re already salivating over this drool-worthy Confetti Cake they launched for the occasion... $550 for a whole cake, or $90 per slice from 34B, Staunton St., Central

Retail Therapy


Sustainable swimwear brand Mazu slapped their signature junk boat print on a reusable water bottle, and we kinda love it! It’s BPA-free, insulated, and is apparently designed to fit an entire bottle of wine at your desired temperature. $250 from Mazu Resortwear


This limited edition collaboration between Aveda and fashion designer Phillip Lim is top of our holiday wishlist, specifically these adorable satin scrunchies made with 100 percent recycled PET. $250 from Aveda


In need of a deep read? This new book dives into the science and spirituality of building a better future. It’s co-written by the founder of China’s leading holistic wellness centre, OCTAVE Institute, not to mention a foreword by famed spiritual guru, Deepak Chopra. $150 at Bookazine


This Nanobag has been touted as the “world’s lightest bag,” weighing in at just 18 grams. We’re not sure we’ll really notice the additional lightness, but for each bag sold, a mangrove tree is planted. $129 from LOG-ON, Homeless or Eslite


Cool Stuff


We’re always happy to see more sustainable fashion labels hit the market! EQRUM is a Hong Kongbased athleisure brand that strives to represent balance, consistency, and self-improvement with a versatile debut collection that is designed to take you anywhere. From trendy banded bike shorts to sleeveless hooded crops, EQRUM feels a bit more “street chic” than your average activewear - which we love! Better still, until December 1, the company is donating 10 percent of its profits to local charity HandsOn Hong Kong, which helps mobilise volunteer efforts for the city’s most vulnerable communities. Prices range between $400 for tops to $750 for bottoms. Check them out online, or in person at IKIGAI wellness studio in Central.


A-Team, assemble! This month, Rosewood Hong Kong’s luxury wellness concept, Asaya, is pulling out all the stops to bring together a star-studded cast of Hong Kong’s most popular health and wellness guest practitioners. Nike master trainer Utah Lee and celeb Instayogi Victor Chau are both slated to teach as part of the November event series, which is fittingly titled “The A Team”, and with over 35 classes scheduled per week, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’re particularly excited by the promise of a class taught by professional ballerinas from Hong Kong Ballet, and a poolside closing party on November 27 to conclude the whole series in style. What could be better than all of our fave fitness gurus under one roof? Drop-in price for A-Team class is $480 (or 10-class package for $4,080), and complimentary for Asaya Members.


Cool Stuff

GOING UP Squid Game


Want to shop more mindfully but struggle to find the time to do research on which brands to support? 100Percent is a new online retailer selling products from sustainable and eco-friendly brands you can trust. From slow fashion finds to clean beauty and eco-home goods, this is a onestop shop for the conscious consumer. The platform works with local and international artisans, and ethical brands that promote green production practices and social initiatives. We spotted hemp fibre trainers from Italian footwear brand ACBC, eco-chic accessories made with recycled driftwood and seashells, and knitwear from Hong Kong label Love From Blue, which uses only deadstock fabric. So you can shop til you drop and know that your money is supporting sustainability around the world!

Red light... green light... We don’t know what it is, we just know it’s everywhere. But we’ll watch anything that comes out of Korea, so onto our Netflix list it goes!

Beard Pencils Yes, they’re a thing! Read more about them and the rise of the male wellness sector on p.22!

Hotpot Hesitancy Sure, it’s finally cold enough to comfortably go for a hotpot. But will we ever feel safe sharing a vat of bubbling broth ever again?



Hong Kong has an unfortunate reputation as a city with a massive food waste issue - it accounts for 40 percent of our landfills! CHOMP is a newly launched app that helps solve that problem. The platform connects F&B businesses like restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries to customers who can purchase a “Mystery Box” of unsold food items from them. Everything from fresh fruit, pastries and vegan cakes to restaurantquality meals (think banh mi sandwiches and vegetarian dumplings) are up for grabs from some of our fave retailers including Live Zero, Sweetpea Cafe, Bahn Mi Kitchen and LockCha Tea House. We also love their Instagram (@chompfoodwaste) which has clever tips and tricks for reducing your food waste at home. Available on iOS and Android.

Capitalising on hate and division for the sake of profits? That’s a big Angry Face reaction from us. Here’s to less need for social media now that we’re allowed to meet up in person.


O CTO B E R 2 6 , T H E U P P E R H O US E 10

huge thank you to all our lovely guests who joined us at The Wellness & Lifestyle Awards prize-giving event! Spread over two sessions, the intimate gathering took place at The Upper House Sky Lounge, which was decorated with gorgeous arrangements from Floristry. Guests nibbled on health-conscious canapes, and enjoyed free-flow bubbles, with botanical mocktails courtesy of Ceders and NatNat Coco, before collecting their awards. Winners were chosen by Liv Magazine readers and the wellness


After the event, guests took home an Alea-branded tote filled with treats from ONLY beverages, A Spark of Madness, Evolcare, ctgallery and Alea, as well as a beautiful miniature arrangement from Floristry. A huge thank you to our sponsors Matilda International Hospital and cteagallery for making the event possible, and a special shout-out to Alea, our title sponsors, whose mission and values align so well with that of Liv Media: holistic wellbeing, women empowerment and ethical,

community at large, with more than 62,000 votes cast over a one-week period.

transparent care. Congratulations again to all our winners!




DEEP BLUE SEAL OF APPROVAL We speak with the MSC to learn more about sustainable seafood in Asia. By Carla Thomas


s the world’s largest seafood market, Asia accounts for around 70 percent of the production and consumption of seafood globally. That makes it an important battleground for tackling the global challenge of overfishing - a problem which not only damages marine life, but also threatens the health of our oceans and the livelihoods of billions of people. “Encouraging fisheries to operate sustainably is one important way to solve the problem of overfishing,” says Dr. An Yan, the China Director for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The MSC ( is a global, non-profit organisation dedicated to recognising sustainable fishing practices while transforming the seafood market. You may have already noticed their signature blue labels on certain seafood products, a guarantee that the fishery meets the rigorous sustainability standards set forth by the NGO. “When individual consumers purchase seafood with the MSC blue ecolabel, they can be sure that they’re helping to protect our oceans by rewarding responsible fishing,” explains Dr. Yan. We asked Dr. Yan to tell us more about the MSC, and how we can make more sustainable choices in the seafood aisle.


What does sustainable seafood mean? To be certified as sustainable by MSC standard, a fishery has to meet three important criteria: 1. Sustainable fish stocks: Are there enough of a particular fish left in the ocean? Fishing must be at a level that ensures it can continue indefinitely and the fish population can remain productive and healthy. 2. Minimising environmental impact: What are the impacts? Fishing activity must be managed carefully so that other species and habitats within the ecosystem remain healthy. 3. Effective fisheries management: Are the operations well-managed? MSC-certified fisheries must comply with relevant laws and be able to adapt to changing environmental circumstances. The sustainability of a fishery is an ongoing process. After they become MSC-certified, fisheries are regularly reassessed, and many continue to make further improvements. How does Asia compare to the rest of the world when it comes to sustainable seafood practices? The region represents a huge diversity of fisheries and


ecosystems. Seafood is also incredibly important to the livelihoods of the people in Asia, and millions depend on the fishing industry as a source of employment. While a lot of work is underway to improve the sustainability of fisheries in Asia, more needs to be done. MSC has been supporting partners in the region to transition towards more sustainable fishing practices, including fisheries catching squid, swimming crabs, clams, anchovies, and several tuna fisheries, to name a few. Currently, there are around 300 MSC-labeled seafood product lines available to buy online and in shops and restaurants in China. As consumers, how can we help to lessen the impact on our oceans? Seafood is one of the most traded food commodities in the world, which can make it hard for consumers to know where their seafood comes from, how it was caught and sometimes even what it is! Looking for the MSC ecolabel on packages or menus is the easiest way to know that the fish we are eating comes from a sustainably managed fishery. Encouraging others to choose sustainable seafood and raising awareness of overfishing is also helpful. Every year, MSC runs our “Little Blue Label, Big Blue Future” campaign on World Ocean Day (June 8) to educate consumers, and contribute to a global movement to protect the oceans. Joining in with that and sharing videos, recipes, media articles and messages about sustainable seafood is a great way to help.

Which fish specifically should we choose to consume more responsibly? Globally there are more than 500 certified fisheries landing more than 100 species of fish, so there is a lot to choose from! In Hong Kong specifically, some excellent sustainable choices are Atlantic Cod, American Lobster, Arctic Clam, Cold Water Shrimp and Halibut. Even if you don’t see an MSC label in the market or restaurant where you are, it’s still a good idea to ask whether the fish they are selling is sustainable, and what they can tell you about where it came from. Shops, restaurants and markets all want to keep their customers happy, and the more we show that we care about sustainability, the more likely they are to start selling MSC-certified products.


Atlantic Cod

Arctic Clam

American Lobster

Cold Water Shrimp





As the festive season beckons, so too does the promise of overindulging on alcoholic drinks. Holiday parties fueled by free-flow wine and creamy cold-weather cocktails (we’re looking at you, eggnog) - it’s too easy to overdo it with so much Christmas cheer in the air! So we’re pleased as holiday punch to hear about ONLY, a new Hong Kong-based health-conscious alcoholic beverage brand. Touted as the city’s first zero-sugar, zero-carb premium vodka soda in a can, it rings in at only 80 calories with no artificial sweeteners or flavours. Enjoy in moderation, and this could be a decent compromise to keep your healthy eating habits in check over the holiday period. Comes in two flavours, Yuzu Ginger and Tahitian Lime, and can be picked up in 12-packs from select liquor stockists, including Tramline Liquor Co. in Kennedy Town or Feather & Bone in Mid-Levels.


Two of our favourite health-forward businesses are teaming up this month! Organic nut butter brand MOMO has partnered with NoHo cafe Grain of Salt to offer a special nutrient-dense menu. From hearty gluten-free pancakes made with oats, bananas and drizzled in a delicious dark chocolate hazelnut sauce, to Thai-inspired kelp noodles with tempeh and almond sauce, this collaboration is a match made in dietary needs heaven. We’re also drooling over the house-made brownie with MOMO’s own almond milk ice cream. Menu launches on November 6 at Grain of Salt and runs until February 2022, and dishes range from $88$138. be sure to check it out! 47 Gough St., Central, 2968-1083, 14

Sponsored Feature

Spill The


A local, family-run tea importer with decades of heritage, cteagallery is passionate about introducing the wellness benefits of traditional Chinese tea to a new audience. Spearheaded by Ken and Jeff Cheng, the fourth generation to run the business, their mission is to modernise Chinese tea for the next generation. Your brand has been around for many years. Why did you decide to move into the wellness space? Starting last year, we wanted to spread the message that drinking tea is not just a traditional pastime; tea is also a healthy and flavourful modern drink. We spoke to our individual and corporate customers alike, and we kept hearing that regularly drinking tea helped them to kickstart a healthier lifestyle, and so we decided to move into wellness. Customers nowadays are aware that too much coffee and too many soft drinks are not good for you in the long term. Tea is a versatile drink and can be enjoyed both hot and as a cold brew. It’s naturally sugar-free and has less caffeine, making it a great option. Can you tell us more about your rebranding and who you hope to attract to your brand with your new identity? The rebranding focuses on both business owners, and a younger audience, such as couples, families, and tea-lovers around the world who want to kick-start a healthy daily routine. Our company has been in business selling loose-leaf teas to businesses since the 1950s, and now we have moved into locally producing tea bags. We also offer a larger selection of teas sourced from all over the world. We’ve also recently launched powdered tea for baking. How does tea and wellness connect in Chinese culture? The pandemic has made people prioritize their health and wellbeing in a big way, and compared to even a few years ago there has been a huge uptick in healthy habits. With its many health benefits, tea is the perfect accompaniment to a healthy lifestyle, as it naturally contains antioxidants, can boost your metabolism, lower your cholesterol, and support well ageing.

Due to these benefits, the trend of tea consumption has shown an increase in popularity in Chinese culture. It is delightful to see so many people becoming passionate about tea; people used to consume tea only when dining in Chinese restaurants, and now tea-drinking is becoming a daily ritual. What are some of your best-selling teas? Our best-selling tea can be distinguished into several categories: Golden Buckwheat Tea Good for: lowering blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol; boosting immunity

Chrysanthemum Good for: nourishing the liver, improving vision and calming the mind.

Peach Oolong Good for: cooling the body

Palace Pu’Erh Good for: digestion

Osmanthus Oolong Tea Good for: skin health

Lychee Rose Good for: maintaining healthy blood pressure

Jasmine Tea Good for: improving skin health; reducing cholesterol

White Peony Good for: detoxifying and anti-ageing

Shizuoka Hojicha Good for: relaxation, easing anxiety and low mood



with Tanya Parmanand

GOLDEN YEARS If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that our city’s senior citizens are often overlooked and under-supported. If you or someone you know is over 65 and struggling with isolation, here are a few great local programmes that cater to Hong Kong’s elderly through training and employment opportunities.

K11 MUSEA K11 MUSEA runs an internal scheme that hires and trains senior citizens to help create upcycled umbrellas from single-use plastics. Working with V Cycle (, a social enterprise that supports Hong Kong’s elderly by providing dignified work in materials collection and recycling, K11 MUSEA pays senior citizens a fair wage to clean and sort plastic collected from participating retailers. The processed plastic is then upcycled by machine into special K11 branded umbrellas. Since its launch in April 2021, the programme has saved over 7,000 plastic bottles from the landfill. Most of the umbrellas are given back to retailers or can be rented by K11 MUSEA customers. But if you’d like to get your hands on your own, you can also purchase one online at the mall’s online store. 18 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 3892-3890 16


GINGKO HOUSE For nearly two decades, restaurant chain Gingko House has provided employment opportunities to senior citizens, hiring them to work as cashiers, waitresses, and other various roles in locations around the city. Since its launch in 2006, the social enterprise has expanded their offerings beyond restaurants, to include Hong Kong Kitchen, a food factory located in Fo Tan that supports the NGO’s catering business, and Gingko House Love Project (GHLP), which recruits its elderly employees to make mooncakes for people in need over the holidays. You can support GHLP by visiting their website, and sponsoring a meal or sweet treat – Gingko House will personally deliver it to underprivileged communities or charities in Hong Kong.

Gingko House

HAPPY VEGGIES This vegetarian restaurant employs both the elderly and the hearing impaired, and also supports local farms, buying fair trade veggies for its plant-based menu. Not only is it a worthwhile social enterprise to support, the menu here is also relatively health-conscious, using minimal salt, sugar and oil, with zero MSG or processed ingredients. Their specialty is turning traditional Chinese dishes into meat-free versions, without sacrificing on flavour (I recommend the pan-fried lotus root cake, and tomato and potato dumplings in soup!). Happy Veggies, Yuen Yuen Institute, Sam Dip Tam, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, 2490-9882

Happy Veggies

HONG KONG DISNEYLAND The happiest place on earth also supports employment opportunities for Hong Kong’s older residents! Retirees are encouraged to apply for roles like merchandise sales, food and beverage outlets and guest services in the park, with flexible working arrangements available that support individual abilities, strengths and physical condition. Plus, you get to work alongside Mickey and the whole gang! Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island

Hong Kong Disneyland

HSBC An early adopter of age-inclusive hiring programmes, HSBC launched their “Smart Seniors” initiative in 2010 to attract senior citizens to join the banking industry. Applicants of any advanced age are welcome to apply, and if accepted, are provided with training to work in HSBC branches. Some of the duties they may be asked to fulfill include greeting customers, customer service, and training new recruits. HSBC also offers flexible working arrangements and more frequent break times for programme participants to help cater to their needs.


Tanya is a full-time law student and freelance writer, whose work has appeared in Lifestyle Asia, Honeycombers, and more! She covers eco-friendly initiatives, charities and NGO news for Liv. Send tips and pitches to


GIVEAWAYS Visit for a chance to win!

Free stuff!

WIN: a PURE Power Pack - a one-month all-access pass to all PURE outlets! Whether you want to kickstart your wellbeing or you’re looking for an inspiring Christmas gift, PURE has launched its popular Power Pack promotion for a limited time only! Each Power Pack gives you one month’s access to all 23 PURE locations, one month’s complimentary access to PURECAST live-streamed classes, $200 worth of nood food vouchers and $200 worth of PURE Apparel vouchers. Plus, you’ll also get two seven-day guest passes to pass to friends. Courtesy of PURE, we have five Power Packs up for grabs. The Power Pack costs $1,288 until November 20, $1,388 until December 21, and $1,588 from December 22 until February 28. Don’t need to access the yoga studios? You can also try a Fitness Power Pack, which gives you access to all of PURE’s gyms starting from $988.

WIN: a tea gift set from cteagallery! A family-run tea business dating back to the 1950s, cteagallery has made it their mission to share the many health benefits of Chinese tea with a new generation. Courtesy of cteagallery, we have these gorgeous tins up for grabs! Inside, you’ll discover four tea varieties: genmaicha, Taiwanese oolong, osmanthus oolong and peach oolong each with their own wellness benefits, from calming the mind to revitalising the skin. Each set is worth $260 and we have two to give away.

Enter at before November 30 to win! 18



Liv checks out the newest workouts and wellness trends SPONSORED

APIA HONEY The buzz: We all know that human demand for honey has led to unsustainable beekeeping practices across the globe, which is why it’s important to source the best and most sustainably produced honey you can find. Enter Apia Honey, a Perth-based wellness collective that produces raw honey from the native jarrah and marri trees, which are found only in Western Australia’s nature reserves, untouched by humans. Not only are these honeys absolutely delicious, they have the same skinsoothing, antiseptic and microbial properties as New Zealand’s manuka honey, and are tested for potency according to similar standards. The honey: Apia Honey was founded in 2020 when the founder discovered that applying jarrah and marri honey topically had an amazing effect on his young daughter’s eczema. These honeys can help soothe itchy, inflamed skin or aid in healing minor cuts and grazes. Ingested, they can help to improve gut health, reduce acid reflux, reduce inflammation, and deliver a hit of antioxidants. They are also great for soothing sore throats. Plus they’re delicious! The jarrah honey has a rich, dark, malty flavour, while the marri honey is lighter with caramel notes. What else: If you’re looking for a not-so-sticky skincare solution, Apia Honey also offers an all-purpose healing balm that we promise will be your next handbag staple! Made with cocoa butter, jarrah honey, avocado oil, kakadu plum, beeswax and a raft of other healing ingredients, this rich, thick balm is perfect for cuts and scrapes, dry skin, rashes, bug bites or anywhere on the body that needs some extra hydration. The verdict: We are totally won over by Apia Honey! Not only is the honey low-GI compared to store-bought varieties, we love that each product has its own QR code so you can trace exactly where it’s coming from. They’re also significantly cheaper than manuka honey, but with the same healing properties. Win, win! The honey starts at $320 for a 320-gram jar; the organic jarrah honey balm is $290. Shop online at


Sponsored Feature


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Cover Story


MALE WELLNESS Once exclusively the domain of women - or anyone more in touch with their feminine side - wellness is now increasingly embraced by men. We take a closer look at the male wellness trend and why it matters. By Carla Thomas & Tanya Parmanand.


Cover Story


n 2021, the global health and wellness market is estimated to be worth around US$4 trillion - the vast majority of which is targeted at women. From cozy candles and anti-aging face masks to weight management products and wear-anywhere athleisure, the wellness industry has heavily favoured its female demographic in the past. But in recent years, that has started to change, as more male-oriented wellness brands have emerged - and succeeded - with male consumers. “For most men, it’s become a sign of strength to make their health and wellness a priority,” says entrepreneur Todd Hewitt. “Lots of men out there no longer feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about finding ways to enhance their wellbeing.” Hewitt is one of the founders of Kool For Men (, a Hong Kong-based online shop selling luxury wellness products “developed by men, for men.” Launched in July of this year, the platform carries a range of CBD-based products and nutritional supplements, all tailored to the specific needs and ailments of the male body. Joint and muscle rub infused with menthol and CBD, eyebrow and beard pencils, a patch for (ahem) “male endurance” - the website is a one-stop shop for self-care items most men probably never knew they needed. “We felt like there was space for a company that met the specific needs of men while also being mindful of clean ingredients, the environment, and the world,” says Hewitt. 23

Cover Story

W H AT I S M A L E W E L L N E S S ? Of course, wellness is about more than just personal care products; it’s a broad, amorphous term that encompasses everything from fitness and nutrition to our mental and emotional health. The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as “the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health,” expanding the concept of what male wellness truly is, and what purpose it should be serving. Modern men’s groups, for example, which emphasise authentic connection and emotional expression, are starting to proliferate in countries and cultures around the world. “We are finding it more and more necessary to have specific conversations about intentionality towards wellness among males,” reads the website for The Male Wellness Collective (, a Florida-based non-profit that conducts research on male wellness needs and hosts immersive outdoor experiences for men, like its two-night “Camp Yoga” retreat. On a more global scale, organisations like the ManKind Project ( have enabled community leaders to start over 1,000 men’s groups in more than 23 countries, including a handful in Asia-Pacific. Described as “a global brotherhood of nonprofit and charitable organizations that conduct challenging and highly rewarding programs for men at every stage of life,” the ManKind Project estimates that it serves close to 10,000 men every week through its all-male support groups.

Lots of men out there no longer feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about finding ways to enhance their wellbeing.


Kool For Men founders: Allen Cai, Carlos Calvo Rodriguez and Todd Hewitt

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Sebastian Droesler

MALE WELLNESS IN HONG KONG More resources like this for men in Hong Kong are still sorely needed, according to Aaron Stadlin-Robbie. After grappling with mental health issues in his late 20’s, and struggling to communicate with his male friends about his experiences, Stadlin-Robbie started his own podcast, Talking Mental, to encourage more awareness around men’s mental health. “Men have to figure out their language on how to discuss mental health. The way we approach it is still very different to women,” explains the 34-year-old host. “But men need to catch up so they can understand how to support their own personal wellness.” Sebastian Droesler, a Hong Kong-based psychologist, started offering male mindfulness workshops in 2017. He says he was inspired by some of the specific needs

that men tend to have when it comes to harnessing a mindfulness practice, as well as a healthier space for likeminded men to meet and relate to one another. “Most men in this city actually appreciate depth and intimacy with other men, but they often get distracted from it,” explains Droesler. “Men’s groups are places to fully show up, reflect and grow together. No time to hide behind a pint, endlessly discuss electronic gadgets or fall into the news trap.” Droesler adds that while he doesn’t differentiate much between genders when it comes to the foundations of wellness - like lifestyle, sleep, diet, and fitness - he says that wellness practices can still be tailored at a certain level to address male needs. “Cultivating healthy masculine energy increases a man’s well-being, by helping him to show up in life as a partner, father or son with more focus, resilience, strength and clarity.”


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I have noticed more men stepping up their grooming and beauty regime especially since the pandemic began.

Avey Cortes

W H AT M E N W A N T F R O M W E L L N E S S So what exactly does “male wellness” look like? After all, as Droesler points out, doesn’t wellness entail more or less the same fundamentals across the gender spectrum? Yes and no. Taking into account the unique social roles, cultural identities, and experiences of men, it makes sense that wellness may require a rebranding to make it more accessible to the modern man. “I think men have been into fitness, strength training, and sports for millennia,” says Andrew Cox, co-founder of Joint Dynamics, a holistic personal training gym in Central. “What has changed more recently is the lengths to which men will go in terms of their wellness, and also widening that scope into different fields. For example, men joining yoga as an alternative or adjunct practice to the traditional gym.” Cox says that he has observed firsthand how the wellness goals of his male clients differ by generation.


Men in their 20s and 30s tend to focus more on performance and recovery, while those in their 40s, 50s and beyond prioritise longevity. Either way, he says, there is more awareness of the need for a holistic approach that touches on areas like mindful movement, breathwork, and nutrition, to name just a few. “I think waking up to our own mortality and how we can influence it is empowering a lot of men to understand that our overall lifestyle contributes to our lifespan,” says Cox.

WELLNESS UNDER COVID-19 Fitness trainer and wellness expert Avey Cortes says he agrees that male wellness has historically focused on traditional male attributes, like strength and power. But he believes men are also becoming more aware of, and attentive to, their external appearance in addition to just how well they perform on metrics of physicality.

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Men share their favourite products and practices that help to boost their wellbeing

AMIEL AARSEN, 37, Firefighter “My favourite beauty product I personally use are my nail clippers from Seki, where samurai swords are made in Japan. They’re forged with ancient steel and have an edge that never gets dull they’re truly a thing of beauty!”

JAMES GANNABAN, 40, Yogi & marketer “Apart from yoga my self-care routine consists of a weekly foot reflexology massage. The pressure feels delicious, literally rubbing down the wear and tear of day-to-day living.”

GIANNI MELWANI, 30, Founder of Ikigai “One of my favourite, unique wellness experiences is having interesting and philosophical discussions with my barber (Roger Ryan from Selvedge Barbers) whilst getting a haircut and beard trim. It has become a monthly a treat to myself, and I always feel physically and mentally refreshed afterwards!” Andrew Cox

“I feel like as men, we have always gone to the gym to improve our overall fitness. But recently I have noticed more men stepping up their grooming and beauty regime - especially since the pandemic began,” says Cortes. Life under COVID-19 has given people everywhere more time to reflect in isolation, for better or for worse. And with men more likely to suffer in silence from mental health issues, and three times more likely to commit suicide, the pandemic is expected to have particularly dire outcomes for those without the appropriate support and coping strategies in place. “The conversation around men’s mental health is gaining momentum, but there’s still a long way to go,” says Cortes. “I feel like there is still the stigma that men should be strong and able to take everything in stride without skipping a beat. But the reality is that we are also human beings with emotions and bodies that can be fragile.”

Whether it be through male yoga retreats, mindfulness, men’s groups, or the simple act of penciling in one’s beard at home, if more men are able to tune into their bodies, then the rise of male wellness should generally be viewed as a positive step for men’s overall wellbeing. Taking a longer-term perspective, men like Cortes also believe that the male wellness movement may even eventually translate to broader changes that will benefit not just the overall health and wellbeing of men, but also the societies they exist within. “I used to look at wellness as a broader term that just meant looking after yourself, but individual health and our communities are intertwined,” says Cortes. “Environment, food, movement and home are all linked to wellness. In short, to be able to look after yourself, you also need to be able to look after each other and vice versa - we’re stronger together!”




We’re all trying to live more consciously these days, whether it’s buying less or being more mindful with our purchases. Rare and antiquarian books are an interesting extension of that philosophy, promoting quality over quantity, careful selection over mindless consumption, and meaningful connection with the objects we keep. To learn more about rare books, and why they might just be the ultimate zero-waste gift idea, we spoke to Lorence Johnston, founder of Lok Man Rare Books.


What qualifies as an antiquarian book? An antiquarian book is one that was first published before 1900, for example Jane Austen’s works. Modern first editions are those published after 1900 - a term first used in the 1930’s so they are not so “modern” anymore! Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald would fit into this category. Rare books can be anything that are not found in large numbers, and therefore may have more interest and value. What are some of the rarest titles you have in stock? Currently the oldest is the first Aldine edition of Libri de re Rustica from 1514, one of the earliest treatises on wine. One of the rarest books might be the first edition of Gray’s Anatomy (the 1859 edition, not the TV series!) but we also have over 1,000 rare, special and desirable titles. What do you think is so appealing about rare books? A well-selected rare book shows a personal consideration that has gone into the gift, as opposed to just getting the latest new handbag or watch. The craftsmanship of a fine binding, the hand-coloured illustrations in a children’s book, the sheer importance of a first edition of Darwin’s Origin of Species or the world’s first atlas by Ortelius from 1584, complete with sea monsters…

There is also nostalgia and warmth about receiving something old and rare in a world where tech dominates our everyday lives. It’s the perfect gift for the person who has everything. Any advice for a first-time buyer? If you’re thinking of building up a collection then talk to a professional and build up a relationship with various specialists that understand this field and the particular area you would like to collect. Come in and see us! If you’re looking for a gift, we’re happy to give advice too. We’ve helped people select books for everything from wedding presents to special birthdays, retirements, graduations or just to say “thank you”. Someone might come in thinking they want that first edition of Gray’s Anatomy for their father who is a doctor, but instead leave with Wind In The Willows because that’s what he read to them as a child. What are some tips for preserving and maintaining books at home? For Hong Kong, humidity and direct sunlight are the main enemies of books, just like they are for art, carpets, leather goods - and humans! So a simple dehumidifier and sensible placing of the book is enough. For reading, just open on your lap without forcing flat in the comfort of your home. Rare books may not be convenient to take to the pool or beach, but that is what rosé and good company are for!

Lorence Johnston, founder of Lok Man Rare Books

Lok Man Books, 6 Chancery Lane, Central,





HATHA YOGA PRADIPIKA For the person who never misses their flow class, this classic fifteenth-century manual on hatha yoga is a guaranteed winner. This edition was printed in 1893 in India, and includes chapters on breath, meditation, mudras, and how you can harness hatha yoga to achieve immortality… something even hard-toplease recipients should be happy with!



BLACK DAHLIA This first edition hardcover of James Ellroy’s crime fiction novel details the 1947 slaying of Elizabeth Short in Los Angeles, in what would become known as one of America’s most notorious unsolved crimes. Today Ellroy is one of the world’s most well-known crime novelists, and this book is widely considered to be the one that launched his career.





Throw it back - way back - with this edition of Anna Sewell’s classic tale of equine friendship. With a gorgeous leather cover, gold-embossed details, and delicate illustrations, it’s a more meaningful way to share a childhood favourite with your own kids - and it’s cheaper than buying them a pony.

Published in 1932, you’ll find nothing but yachts, and royal ones at that, in this fascinating first and only edition. Printed on untrimmed, handmade paper, with lots of intricate paintings and photographs, including luxurious interiors that provide a glimpse into how the other half (or 1 percent) lived.


A MINDFUL ESCAPE TO NURTURE MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT movement | yoga | art therapy | gut health | sleep | spirituality


DORIS AU-YEUNG Retreat host, wellness coach, community builder and yoga teacher


NOBIN K.JOHN Functional medicine coach and co-founder, Orka Wellness

EMILIE DUCOMMUN Resilience coach and aromatherapist

COCO ALEXANDRA Soul coach and alternative healer

NOV 17-18

VIV KAN Mindful intimacy and movement coach

EARLY BIRD RATE (book by Nov 5)


Single occupancy: $3,800 per head

Single occupancy: $4,100 per head

Twin sharing: $2,800 per head

Twin sharing: $3,100 per head

YINKI WONG Sound healer, Yin-Ki Wellness



News from the beauty aisle

HOW CBD CAN HELP YOUR SKIN We’ve been riding high on the CBD trend, ingesting everything from tinctures and gummies to beer and lattes! But could this cannabis plant byproduct also have a more surface-level use in our beauty routine? Here are some of the most common skin concerns that cannabidiol might be able to help. By Carla Thomas

TAMES ANGRY SKIN CBD has a lot of natural calming properties, which you might associate with stress-busting and anxiety relief. But it can also help soothe your skin, thanks to potent anti-inflammatory properties. Several recent studies have shown that CBD may be able to treat dermatological conditions like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis by alleviating red and irritated skin that is easily inflamed. PERFECT FOR: redness, itchiness, sensitive skin



Several lab studies have confirmed that CBD helps to slow or stop oxidative stress. This helps protect against the development of free radicals, which are responsible for cellular damage leading to illness and ageing. This could potentially have important clinical applications, including in the treatment of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, once scientists have been able to study this effect properly. For now though, it’s probably safe to assume that CBD’s antioxidant properties make it a great weapon for fighting wrinkles and other signs of ageing! PERFECT FOR: anti-ageing

CANNABLE: Hong Kong’s first dedicated CBD spa. Shop C, G/F, On Tung Mansion, 34 New Market St., Sheung Wan

REDUCES EXCESS OIL AND SCARS CBD has been found to actually inhibit oil production in human skin. Paired with the aforementioned anti32

inflammatory properties, that makes it a promising treatment for anyone suffering from acne. Not only can it help to reduce excess oil buildup and tame redness, a recent study also found that CBD visibly improved the appearance of facial scars. Could this be the next big thing in anti-acne skincare? PERFECT FOR: acne, oily skin, scarring and blemishes

BALANCE HEALTH: Natural health clinic in Central offering CBD facials and other treatments. 2705, 27/F, Universal Trade Centre, 3-5 Arbuthnot Rd., Central THE CHALESS: Sells a wide range of high-quality CBD skincare products, including masks, balms, and face oils. G/F, 16 Aberdeen St., Central W HOTEL: Bliss, the hotel’s in-house spa, just launched a range of CBD massage treatments. 72/F, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon




We must admit, we know little more about Kazakhstan other than its Silk Road and Soviet Union heritage... and of course, it's the country that spawned Borat. Very nice! We were intrigued when we learned about TruNomad, a Kazakh skincare line that promises to nurture and strengthen the skin barrier. Inspired by the pastoral nomads who once roamed the steppes of Central Asia, the star ingredient is mare’s milk, which has long been used as a balm for weather-beaten skin, thanks to natural vitamins, minerals and prebiotics that help to balance the skin’s microbiome. This line of hand and body care products are all free from parabens, sulphates, fragrance and heavy metals. TruNomad also promises that their mare’s milk is sourced ethically and without cruelty. Currently only available online, prices range from $120-$340.




with Kate Springer


utumn and winter have always been my favourite times of year in Hong Kong, largely because the humidity and typhoons are finally behind us - at least for a couple of months - and we can finally dine outside without melting. And for those of you who are lucky enough to have some alfresco space at home, this is the best time to put it to good use. Whether you’re grilling dinner on a terrace or decking out a spacious rooftop, you need weather-resistant furniture and accessories to make the space feel inviting. Here are a few of the city’s top outdoor furniture brands in an array of styles, from sleek modern silhouettes to rustic rattan, fire pits, parasols and more.



The name says it all: Everything Under The Sun carries one of the largest selections of outdoor furniture, accessories, barbecues, carpets, parasols, planters, and fridges in the city. You can kit out your terrace or rooftop in one fell swoop with gear that you didn’t even know you needed. A fire pit? Lanterns? Mist fans? Waterproof speakers? It’s all here, right alongside durable, stylish furniture at every price point. The company also partners with the interior design experts at The Home Stylist, should you need a hand bringing your dream space to life. 34

Romantic globe lights, nature-inspired side tables, all-weather rattan sofas... you can easily create an oasis with the dreamy designs at the Archetypal showroom on Moon Street in Wan Chai. My eye was drawn to the ultra-minimalist, compact Dog Days sofa, a perfect match for Hong Kong’s balmy weather in mind; the Jeanette bucket chairs and barstools by SP01; and Case Furniture’s casual teakwood Tanso dining table, inviting guests to gather around quite literally. A different up-and-coming talent has designed each collection, yet they still seem to mix and match seamlessly.



It’s all about craftsmanship with the Dalisay Collection - a Hong Kong-based furniture venture that works with artisans in the Philippines to create lasting pieces made with sustainably sourced materials. The new ADAPT line of outdoor furniture, for example, upcycles salvaged trees destroyed by typhoons in the Philippines, as well as durable UV- and water-resistant fabrics. Not only are they designed to withstand the natural elements, but ADAPT pieces also look sleek in any setting. Better yet, the brand offers flexible ownership options - buy the furniture outright or rent it monthto-month if that better suits your lifestyle.



If Scandinavian, mid-century modern, or minimalist describe your ideal decor style, look no further than Establo. Established in 2015, this homegrown furniture brand sources small European brands that prioritise simplicity, form and function. When it comes to the outdoor collections, expect a mix of classic wood benches and picnic tables, right alongside sleek daybeds, sunbrellas and sectionals of all sizes. Establo provides a few small eco-friendly touches, such as using plantable seed paper from Botanical Paperworks in its packaging. Simply add water to the paper, then let it naturally biodegrade in soil.

Under the Gandia Blasco Group umbrella, you can find a wide range of European styles all under one roof. Shop the DIABLA collection for vibrant colours and funky silhouettes, play it cool with the Ibizainspired GANDIABLASCO line’s smooth lines and neutral palettes, or celebrate geometry with the modular Isla collection. The Spanish brand also enlisted Japanese designer Kensaku Oshiro to create a sophisticated GRAPY pouf seat that’s perfect for lounging. You can find Gandia Blasco products at Zzue Creation in Horizon Plaza, alongside other outdoor inspiration. Kate Springer is a Hong Kong-based lifestyle writer who contributes to Vogue, CNN, Home Journal, Tatler, BBC Travel, Forbes Travel Guide, Fodor’s, Vice, and more. You can follow her on Instagram @katespringer. Send news about exciting home and design stories to




with Ziggy Makant


ature is so grounding and it provides us with a moment to turn off the technology - and the weather is finally pleasant enough that we can comfortably spend more time outdoors! Here in Hong Kong, we’re blessed with many child-friendly hikes, and so I want to share with you three of my favourite stroller-friendly trails.

PEAK CIRCULAR ROUTE (3.5KM) A classic that makes every stroller-friendly hiking list in Hong Kong for a reason! Beautiful views of the Hong Kong skyline, not too strenuous and it isn’t a big time commitment. To increase the difficulty, you can opt to start out by doing the Morning Trail up to the Peak Galleria first, but your kiddo may need a snack!

TAI LAM NATURE TRAIL (10KM) This one begins at the Tai Lam Country Park and is more of a thereand-back trail instead of a circuit. Alternatively, you can descend on the trail, walk towards the Tai Lam Tunnel, hail a cab and head home! There is a lot of shade from trees overhead, and a few rest stops such as barbeque pits or lookout points to stop, change diapers or breastfeed.

LAMMA ISLAND FAMILY TRAIL (5KM) This hike is fully paved and runs across Lamma Island connecting Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan ferry piers. Start off in Aberdeen and take the ferry to Sok Kwu Wan, where you can enjoy lunch at a seafood restaurant, then walk it off! Get in a swim at Hung Shing Yeh beach, before finishing off with a ferry to Central.

HOW TO PACK LIGHT FOR YOUR HIKE Whether I’m taking a stroller or hiking with a carrier - the last thing I want to be doing is lugging around more heavy things! Here are my bare-bones hiking essentials: • A water backpack is essential. Certain brands can carry between 1.5L to 4L in a small bag like the one pictured. • Parakito is a DEET-free insect repellent that is safe and effective during pregnancy, and for babies six months and up. For younger babies, opt for thin long sleeves and


a citronella spray. • An SPF50 lightweight sunscreen, like Super Goop Play. • Tissues and wet wipes, always! • Set up contactless payment and Octopus on your phone so you can ditch wallets. You’ll be good to travel anywhere in Hong Kong!


BODY BREAK Starting this month, I’m sharing a kid-friendly workout every month that’s suitable for the whole fam. Try it out with your little ones and tag us on IG @liv.magazine so we can see how you did!



Fun for children and adults alike, these primal-flow-inspired movements are too fun to do. Challenge your kids to a race, or complete as many reps as possible in 60 seconds!



Start in an all-fours position, engage your core and lift the knees an inch. Travel forwards, backwards or sideways. Keeping hips and shoulders in line.



Start by sitting on the floor, with your feet flat and knees pointing towards the ceiling. Keep your knees, hips and ankles in line. Place your hands behind your hips, with fingers pointing away from your body. Lift the right arm, keeping your elbow close to the body, fingers pointing towards the ceiling. Extend your fingers upwards, hips upwards, and reach over the left-hand-side of your body towards the left finger tips. Repeat on both sides.



Place the feet shoulder-width apart and squat down, placing hips below the knees, and knees over the toes. Keeping your hips low and chest upright, walk forwards without bobbing up and down. Have a relay race with the whole family!

Ziggy is a Hong Kong-based mum of two, pre- and postnatal trainer, micro-influencer, and co-host of the Mom Body Soul Podcast. She loves all things motherhood, sustainability and parenting. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @zig.fitmama or reach out to say hello at for FitFam leads and pitches!


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